Conversations with Aldershot was a time limited co-creation project that ran from September 2020 until March 2023 based in the Artist’s home town of Aldershot. An arts project between local residents and artists led by Susan Merrick, that turned into a two and a half year project archiving lockdown experiences, artwork and thoughts/words from Aldershot residents.
The first part of the project included: art workshops via zoom sessions throughout the second lockdown, creating work with the collaboration group and Artists Annis Joslin, Amanda Holiday and Louise Jordan; an online survey asking for residents experiences; and an exhibition sharing some of this work in September 2021. The second part took the form of twelve engagement sessions around the town as well as fourteen interpreted interviews with the local Nepali and Gurkha community. We spoke to as many people as we could to gather experiences as well as single words and thoughts of lockdowns, and how people felt since coming out of them. In total we spoke to over 600 people.
The archive includes a YouTube channel of interviews, poems, films and recordings, a publication (see digital version below – coming soon) featuring a sample of experiences, words and images collected, and a physical archive that will be used for exhibitions and will eventually be held at the Women’s Art Library, Special Collections, Goldsmiths University. The above film is Part 1 of a documentary about the project from our YouTube channel. Part 2 is coming soon.
This project was made possible with two National Lottery project grants from Arts council England and local funding and support from Rushmoor Borough council and the West End Centre, Aldershot.
Conversations with Aldershot has involved dozens of people over the two and a half years but it began with the Collaboration group of Asia Mahmood, Candice Camacho, Daisy Edwards, Debbie Nobbs, Melanie Chiwera, Sameea Jonnud and Susan Merrick. Full acknowledgements in the digital flip book below designed by Charlie Abbott at work-form.co.uk